Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougall 1973, Welsh et al. 1993
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Herbaceous perennial, prostrate to strongly decumbent, abundantly branching from the base, to 80 cm tall, stems pubescent or strigose. Leaves: Pinnately compound leaves, leaflets 9-19, opposite, elliptic to oblanceolate, to 7 mm long, the uppermost surface glabrous to strigose, strigose beneath. Flowers: Inflorescences borne on peduncles 2-9 cm long, racemes with up to 20 flowers, flowers 7-11.5 mm long, ascending and cream, green, pink, or purple in color, often with purple veins, the calyx campanulate, strigose, with teeth to 5 mm long, the keel with a conspicuous, beak-like projection at right angles to the claw. Fruits: Pods ascending, ovoid or oblong-ellipsoid, to 14 mm long and 6 mm wide, strigose, unilocular, floral remnant sometimes persistent. Ecology: Found in mountain brush, shrublands, aspen, pi-on, juniper, and ponderosa pine communities, from 5,500-9,000 ft (1676-2743 m). Notes: These prostrate forbs are recognizable by their greenish-cream colored flowers with purplish venation. Another good key (if you have a good hand lens or scope) is that the hairs on the vegetation are dolabriform, meaning that they are axe-shaped or cleaver-shaped and they usually attach near the middle. Ethnobotany: The leaves or whole plants was used as a life medicine, the leaves were dried and powdered and applied to sores, and the plant was used as a ceremonial chant lotion. Synonyms: Many, see Tropicos Editor: LCrumbacher, 2011 Etymology: Astragalus comes from the Greek astragalos meaning "ankle bone" and an early name applied to some plants in this family because of the shape of the seeds, while humistratus means low layer, in reference to an often low-growing habit.